What is the story behind chia?
Chia seeds were revered by both the Maya and Aztecs for their amazing energy and natural healing powers. In pre-Colombian times, chia seeds were a main component of both the Aztec and Maya diets, and played a prominent role in religious ceremonies. One tablespoon of the seeds was considered capable of sustaining a warrior for 24 hours. Today, chia is the force behind the famous long distance runners, the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico’s Copper Canyon. The Tarahumara power their extraordinary stamina with chia, as described in the New York Times bestselling book, Born to Run by Christopher McDougall:
“In terms of nutritional content, a tablespoon of chia is like a smoothie made from salmon, spinach, and human growth hormone. As tiny as those seeds are, they’re superpacked with Omega-3s, protein, calcium, iron, zinc, fiber and antioxidants. If you had to pick just one desert-island food, you couldn’t do much better than chia, at least if you were interested in building muscle, lowering cholesterol, and reducing your risk of heart disease; after a few months on the chia diet, you could probably swim home.”
“Chia was once so treasured, the Aztecs used to deliver it to their king in homage. Aztec runners used to chomp chia seeds as they went into battle, and the Hopis fueled themselves on chia during their epic runs from Arizona to the Pacific Ocean.” – Born To Run
Chia seeds come from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, a member of the mint family that grows in North, Central and South America. Consumed as early as 3,000 B.C., chia seeds were eaten as a grain, mixed with water, ground into flour, mixed into medicines, and pressed for omega-3 oil.
These extraordinary seeds offer a complete nutritional profile of omega-3, balanced dietary fiber, complete protein, antioxidants and minerals. Chia really is one of the world’s healthiest whole foods!